Companionship is among the most innate of desires, but for individuals with disabilities finding a romantic relationship can be an uphill battle. Now one U.K. mom is going to extreme lengths to help her son who has Down syndrome find a girlfriend. She’s gone public with his quest to find a companion and have sex.

Why? Lucy Baxter says she wants her son Otto, 21, to be just like everyone else. But when he goes out on the town with friends they tend to get lucky and he does not.

Otto tried telling one girl that he wanted a sexual relationship with her, but the girl just wanted to be friends. He also tried a dating service just for people with special needs. But he found that the girls he met who also have Down syndrome were not as mature as him. In one case, he went on a date with a girl with Down syndrome whose caregivers would not allow her to be anything more than friends, reports the BBC.

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“Unfortunately Otto is caught between two different worlds, two different cultures,” Lucy told the BBC. “One is a very disabled culture where everything is special and you’re treated like a child and the girls there very often have been treated like kids. This is dying out now and I think a lot of young parents of people with Down syndrome want different things for their children. They want equality.”

To read more click here and to hear Otto’s story click here.


Previous stories on this topic:

Scoop Essentials: Dating 101 (December 15, 2008)